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Nomads hit at Fam over Balaka fracas

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Carlsberg Cup holders, Be Forward Wanderers, have hit at Football Association of Malawi (Fam) over ugly scenes of violence that erupted at Balaka Stadium on Saturday.

The violence interrupted the Nomads’ quarterfinal tie against Premier Division side Prison United. Wanderers eventually won the game 1-0.

Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, blamed Fam for the violence, arguing that the game was played without a pre-match meeting which is a prerequisite.

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“It is at a pre-match meeting where security detail and other crucial issues are discussed. How can a high profile quarterfinal match be played without such a meeting?” Butao queried.

The Nomads GS said they raised a complaint to Fam Transfer Matching System Manager, Casper Jangale, and the Southern Region Football Association Chairperson, Raphael Humba, who were among the match commissioners, to reason with Prison to change their sitting position.

“When Prison supporters started hurling insults at our bench and pouring some soil, our supporters went to ask them to change their sitting position but our counterparts responded with violence, hence the incident. I suggested to Casper and Mr Humba that the teams should change benches for the sake of peace,” Butao said.

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Jangale and Humba said match reports would be submitted to Fam Competitions’ Desk for a determination on whether a disciplinary case should be opened.

The referee stopped the match in the 29th minute following the violence. Wanderers’ supporters were annoyed that Prison supporters were continually chanting behind the Nomads’ bench.

Suddenly, clashes between Wanderers and Prison supporters ensued in the terraces and the match was stopped for 10 minutes as the police and stewards were outnumbered.

Additional 15 cops were called to calm the situation with both teams agreeing to swap sitting positions.

When play resumed, it was Prison who looked likely to score. Wanderers’ centre-half, Harry Nyirenda, made a goalline clearance to deny the Premier Division side the lead.

Nonetheless, Wanderers stormed into the semifinals after in-form hitman, Peter Wadabwa, connected home a Francis Mlimbika’s cross in the 73rd minute.

United’s goalkeeper, Moses Liundi John, made a series of saves to keep his team in the game.

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